Dads Throughout History Series – Part 3
Author, Chef, Television Personality, Dad
It’s true, you never know what people are going through. Someone could be the picture of health and wealth on the outside, yet they may be tortured by demons on the inside. Perhaps this was the case with Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, crime fiction novelist, television star, and our country’s latest celebrity tragedy. Bourdain contributed much to our world. He brought people together through food. He was an innovator. He was also a father. He’s survived by his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane Bourdain.
This breaks my heart. I pray for Ariane, and send her healing light. May she eventually find peace with this at some point in her life. When I think of Ariane, I think of my cousins who lost their father to suicide when they were young children. Needless to say, they’ve faced numerous problems and hardships themselves. Time has healed them to small extent, yet still carry the tragedy with them. Whatever agony or illness their father battled, they battle it, too. Bourdain was in some kind of great pain. May Ariane make peace with it.
Often, the only way to make sense of these difficult subjects is talking about them openly. I will admit I’ve had moments when I’ve felt like I might be better off gone. Fatherhood has challenged me in ways I never imagined. While I know in my heart I’m doing the best I can as a husband and father, I often fear these early trials of balancing family, work, life, love, and the stress of it all has actually brought out the worst in me. Is this possible?
I’ve thought about my family’s lives without me. If I were to die by my hand or any other way, would they move on and heal? If they were to abandon me or I them, where would I go? What would I do? Are these bona fide disruptive thoughts or just normal?
I cannot honestly say I’ve been suicidal. Maybe just looking for the occasional escape valve. My own father did this often. He looked for escape from us all the time. He and I have grown so far apart, I’ve often said he’s dead to me.
So what’s worse? The departed dad that is gone for good, or the one that’s gone from view?
Dads, you belong in the picture. You’re a man doing your best to do your best. Keep at it. It’s one day at a time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you’ve had thoughts of ending your life, or if you face mental illness, seek help. If your loved ones notice something different in you, recognize that they are reaching for you. Reach back with all you’ve got.
Photo Source: Getty Images (from Cosmopolitan)